Microsoft, EMC Forge Content Management Alliance

Microsoft and EMC have developed nativeintegration technology for SharePoint Server 2007, as well as the2007 Microsoft Office system and SQL Server 2005,through a newly announced enterprise content management alliance.

The new functionality expands the EMC optionsavailable to SharePoint users, EMC’s John McCormick, vicepresident of product management, content management and archiving, told CRM Buyer.

“What this means is that from SharePoint, for example,a user can participate in any process managed by the EMCDocumentum platform,” he said, noting that in the past, customers would build”one-off integrations” and still wouldn’t necessarily have the range of access now available.

Direct Integration

As part of the expanded alliance, EMC will introduce aset of new content and archiving products thatintegrate the EMC Documentum platform with MicrosoftOffice SharePoint Server 2007, the 2007 MicrosoftOffice system and SQL Server 2005. Users will be ableto access the Documentum platform natively from withinMicrosoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and theMicrosoft Office system and vice versa, according tothe firms.

Also, EMC’s products will allow manual or automaticarchival of content from SharePoint repositories to aDocumentum repository while keeping content accessibleand searchable from within Microsoft Office SharePointServer 2007, they explain.

The expanded integration functionality this alliance will offer is one of several integration initiatives Microsoft has been developing with other vendors, including Oracle’s Siebel, Robert Bernard, general manager of the global ISV teamat Microsoft, told CRM Buyer.

The difference between these initiatives and early integration add-ons, he maintained, is that theapplications are integrated “in a supportive way.”

Regulatory Compliance Issues

Direct integration is necessary to fully leverage the content managementfunctionality provided by the firms, according to clientDow Corning.

“We’re a large EMC Documentumcustomer — with approximately 150 content managementapplications across our organization — and a premierMicrosoft customer,” explained Dow Corning Senior Specialist Ann-Marie Horcher.

The integration of EMC content management capabilities directly intoMicrosoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 “is the right strategic direction,” she said, “as the success of content management is ultimately determined by ourend users’ ability to access the content andcapabilities necessary to meet their business needsusing familiar applications.”

Demand for more robust content managementfunctionality is likely to increase as enterprisesmust meet increasingly complex regulatoryrequirements, said Toby Bell, research director at Gartner.

“To mitigate risk and simplify decisions aboutbetter content provisioning, an ideal combination ofbasic and higher order content services functionalitywould marry specific parts of each type of offering toallow for strategic content control,” Bell added. “2007 might be theyear when content governance policies and thesupporting technology finally become effective inbetter managing out cost and complexity, whilemanaging in availability and accountability.”

EMC Documentum Content Services for MicrosoftSharePoint Server 2007 and EMC Documentum ArchiveServices for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 arescheduled to be available during the first quarter of2007.

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